Fair Debt

Hosted ByLex Patterson

Unlocking Possibilities...

Episode 17: Exploring LinkedIn B2B Digital Marketing

What you’ll learn about in this episode
In this episode we’re connecting with a digital marketing veteran and trail blazer to help us understand how companies in Niche B2B industries can get the best value for their advertising dollars.

Topics include:
Tips on defining your audience
Narrowing Focus to improve results
A tip for B2B medical marketing
Areas you’re wasting your money in
How to get started in Linked Ads

Guest: AJ Wilcox
AJ Wilcox is a LinkedIn Ads pro who founded B2Linked.com, a LinkedIn Ads-specific ad agency, in 2014. He’s an official LinkedIn partner, host of the LinkedIn Ads Show podcast, and has managed among the world’s largest LinkedIn Ads accounts worldwide. He’s a ginger & triathlete. He lives in Utah, has 4 adorable kids, and his company car is a wicked-fast gokart.

About B2Linked
ounded in 2014 by veteran digital marketer, AJ Wilcox. The B2Linked team manages the largest and most sophisticated accounts worldwide. They’re Certified LinkedIn Marketing Partners,  a designation they’re extremely proud to bear.

To date, they’ve managed hundreds of LinkedIn Ads accounts, spent a cumulative $135M+ on the platform, and have managed 5 of LinkedIn’s top 10-spending accounts.

For accounts spending over $100k/mo, they double your leads at the same budget, in the first 2 months, on average.

🔬 They’re scientists that understand the very DNA of LinkedIn Advertising, and they’re always testing and learning 🧬

They’re mission is to bring truly sophisticated LinkedIn marketing to our clients, making them internal rockstars.


    Website: https://b2linked.com/

    Email: aj@b2linked.com

   LinkedIn Personal: https://www.linkedin.com/in/wilcoxaj/

LinkedIn Company: https://www.linkedin.com/company/b2linked/

Additional Resources:
What you need to know to get started on LinkedIn

LinkedIn Ads for Account Based Marketing

How to know if you LinkedIn ads are performing

Doximity A professional Medical Network for Physicians 

Episode Transcript

Lex Patterson 0:05
I’m Lex Patterson, your host of the Fair Debt podcast. For show notes for this episode, go to kindred Forster comm slash episodes, here we go.

As debt collection professionals we find ourselves constantly working to grow our brand. But also, the things have shifted due to the pandemic. We’re rethinking prospecting, trade shows and in person conversations have, well, shall we say, been limited. Now is a great time to rethink our sales and marketing tactics. And so in this episode, we’re diving into the third pillar of the communication strategy, which is What channel do you broadcast your messages on. When it comes to channels or platforms, you have many options, including Google, Facebook, LinkedIn. And you can perform targeted email campaigns. You can spend money on keywords and search engine optimization. And of course, there are always many advertising options available from printed to ads that appear on our social feeds. Today, we’re going to talk about one of the hottest channels you can use for delivering that message with b2b marketing guru, AJ Wilcox. And we’re going to talk about how to build successful pipeline using LinkedIn as a channel option. So let’s dive right in. Hi, AJ, it’s good to see you again. On a rainy on a rainy Monday here in Utah.

AJ Wilcox 2:01
Yes, thank goodness I love rain.

Lex Patterson 2:03
Well, I appreciate you joining. It’s it’s so great to meet you and see you again, we talked briefly before and you’ve got such a great story. I thought we should start the podcast off by maybe having you share your marketing journey. Tell us your story. How did you get into this?

AJ Wilcox 2:18
Well, if I I specialize only in LinkedIn ads. That’s my I’m a one trick pony. It’s my one claim to fame. But if you would have asked me 1015 years ago, like, Hey, do you think you’re ever going to be all in on LinkedIn ads, I would laugh. So here’s the story, I kind of grew up in digital marketing, I started about 14 years ago, I grew up in search engine optimization. And in Google ads. And I, I worked at several different ad agencies really love the whole digital side of things, especially gravitated towards ads. And then I went to go work for a company. You know, it’s a b2b SaaS company it was before they went public. And I’m talking to my new boss, the CMO. And I laid out all of my strategies for what I wanted to do with with search and social and display. And I remember her saying, Oh, that sounds great. Go ahead and execute it. But just so you know, we’d started a pilot with LinkedIn ads about two weeks ago. So see what you could do. And I jumped into the platform solely, to not look bad to my boss. And but what happened is, I pretty much applied all the principles that I brought from Google ads over to LinkedIn. And we really hit it out of the park, right from the beginning, which is pretty rare on LinkedIn. And my sales team just kept coming up to me and saying, AJ, we don’t know what you’re doing over here. But we’re fighting over your leads, keep it up. And I went and verified. Sure enough, all these leads that just, they were coming from LinkedIn and nowhere else. And so over the course of the next two and a half years, I grew it to become Lincoln’s largest spending account. I had all of these amazing connections and friendships with with people at LinkedIn, their product, people want to know my opinion. And yeah, I’m a pretty unlikely entrepreneur like I’m

Lex Patterson 4:04
pretty. Final. You got pushed right into that stage, didn’t you? Wow,

AJ Wilcox 4:08
I did. And when I was thinking about like, do I do I do this? Do I just go get a job? In prayer, I just felt pushed in that way that was like, This is what I want you to do. Go and do the thing that you’re the best in the world app. And now I’m so glad I did. Because this is this has been a dream come true.

Lex Patterson 4:26
Yeah. Wow. Wow. Yeah. So then tell the rest of the story though. There’s, there’s more to this right. When you when you started your company. Okay. So let’s talk. Tell us about that a little bit, too.

AJ Wilcox 4:37
Yeah. So the starting of the company was was really interesting. I was Lincoln’s biggest customer. And yeah, we were killing it. And I actually got laid off from my from that company. Wow. And so I had to go home to my my wife at the time who had three kids and one on the way and tell her like, Hey, I don’t have a job anymore. And what We were big savers. We had like 11 months of runway saved up. And I told you in prayer, I had, like four different job offers. And I would go pray about them. And the answer I got was like, nope, turn it down. I will turn it down. And out of desperation was kind of like, well, what about this niche consultancy or agency around LinkedIn ads that I’ve kind of been playing with? And I got, that’s what you’re supposed to be doing? Yeah. It was gonna work.

Lex Patterson 5:28
Yeah. Yeah. So now, you run in the company. You got how many employees? I mean, you’re growing, right? I mean, it’s

AJ Wilcox 5:35
Yeah, yeah, about 15 employees now that the growth has been relatively recent. I have a CFO who’s, he’s, he’s right about growth, and he’s cajoled me into like, taking some more risk. Okay. Yeah. But yeah, 15 employees, we’re, we have an office, but more than half our remote. We’ve got three job openings right now. So we’re gonna keep growing, I

Lex Patterson 5:56
hope. Yeah, that’s awesome. That’s really awesome. And, you know, I was noticing you so your work. In fact, our previous conversation, you were on this treadmill desk? Let’s talk about that for a little bit here. So that’s because that’s fascinating to me, right? Because, like, how did you get that idea? And, you know, do you like it? I mean, what, tell us a little bit about that.

AJ Wilcox 6:17
So at the last company I worked for, I ended up doing a diet contest with a bunch of people. And one of my co workers said, Man, this diet would be so much like the contest would be so much easier to win, if I could burn calories while I was working, like if I had one of those treadmill desks or something. So as soon as I I, like, had my own office at home, I was like, That would be cool to get some steps in. So I got a treadmill desk, I invested in a really cheap one, just to see if I would actually use it. And then I went and got like the, you know, the gold standard one,

Lex Patterson 6:49
which is what what is the gold standard of a treadmill desk?

AJ Wilcox 6:52
It’s by a company called Lifespan Fitness. Okay. And they have three treadmill desks, I got the one that’s like the industrial one that doesn’t need to be oiled. Like, it can be used all day. Whereas the other ones are like, you can only run for four hours or six hours at a time.

Lex Patterson 7:10
Yes, it’s so great. Because I mean, we had our pre call you and I, and you were bobbing up and down a little bit on the Zoom monitor. But you were you were going to town on that thing. It was really cool. And I don’t know, have you? Have you ever listened to you know, some listening to podcasts all the time now, but that Jenny Blake’s pivot podcast, which you and I both know something about pivots here, obviously. But she she had Nilufer merchant on there. And Nilufer was talking about how intention is such a big thing, such such a big thing, you know, and she wanted she, she wanted to bring health and fitness back into her life. And so she set that intention. And so what she would do AJs, she would say, hey, you know, I’m gonna start scheduled scheduling walking meetings. So it’d be like, meeting up for bring your walking shoes, you know. And so it was kind of cool. When I when I noticed you had that treadmill, I was like, okay, that he’s got that intention to bring some of that fitness and health back into his life. So that’s cool.

AJ Wilcox 8:09
Yeah, and I think so much clearer. I mean, I love walking meetings, when I’m walking with someone is my brand just flows, you can get the same thing as a treadmill. That’s yeah,

Lex Patterson 8:18
that’s so awesome. Well, cool. Let’s jump in. I’m excited about this, this episode. I’ve got the guru of LinkedIn marketing with me here, and I’m just, I’m so grateful to have you on the show

AJ Wilcox 8:31
what I what I’ve always wanted, I want to depart this world, and have made a difference. And I just have this, it’s probably part of my ADHD, but I just have this like, insane thirst for knowledge. I, I, there can’t be a subject out there I don’t know about. And so I have to spend time learning. And when I, you know, LinkedIn ads, it’s what I’m known for it. But, you know, I didn’t set out to become the world’s largest LinkedIn ads expert or anything like that. I set out to change the way that marketing works. And it just so happens that I have skills and insight into this channel that is so underappreciated. To give you some background, advertising, it’s, it’s a game, I mean, this. It’s like, the bad math that Las Vegas is based off of, when we hear all this, like, all the challenges with, you know, oh, Facebook wants to be able to target this way, and they had to pull it back. We’re talking about, we have to show ads, you know, 1000s of times to get someone to click on it. And then, you know, small little enhancements here or there can get, you know, twice the amount of people to click on it or whatever. You’re still looking at just a very narrow population who are going to click and I absolutely hate that. I hate the fact that marketing is let’s annoy 99% of people so we can get one and who like this is valuable, too. I want to be valuable to anyone One, that was the biggest thing that LinkedIn ads did for me is because the targeting is so good. We can target by an a specific job title, or seniority or department, someone works in company sizes, industries, even by specific company name, because that targeting is so good, especially for these b2b companies who have a very like, defined persona of, here’s the person who would actually buy our software, we can be so specific about who sees it. And so for me, that’s the change I’m making in the world happens to be by using LinkedIn ads. But if there was a competitor to LinkedIn that popped up tomorrow, that gave me an avenue there, I adopt it in a in a second to, to just improve the way that sales and marketing are done. In my mind, I have two different types of channels, we have three channels, and we have we call them organic and paid channels, which are advertising. And then inside of each of those, you have activities that are related to searching, meaning someone is like, like they’re using a search engine to find something, and they have that search intent. And then you have activities that are social or display where someone isn’t specifically looking, but you’re showing the ads, kind of interrupting them trying to get their, their attention. On the search side, this works very well in established niches, like AR like debt collection, the industry exists, it has existed for so long. And because of that people know the keywords the type, they know, they can type in debt collection service, or debt collection provider. And if you’re running ads on Google, or Microsoft Bing, as they’re searching, your ad shows up, which is really cool that it’s very, very precise. But at the same time, you as a company, you don’t know who it is, who’s clicking your app. So it could be the mailroom clerk, it could be the CEO, or anyone in between, then you look at at channels like LinkedIn advertising, where I can advertise to you based off of the fact that you work in the finance department of a company with at least 500 people in the medical industry, you can be so specific about who sees the ads, but you lose that, that that intent that you would get to research. So I think you just have to balance it. And knowing that, the more the more competition there is around your keyword, the more Google ads is going to cost. Whereas I know pretty much with without fail that any audience I go after on LinkedIn are going to be somewhere like eight to $12 per click. So it’s not going to okay, like, yeah,

Lex Patterson 12:43
so. So what I’m hearing from you then is a more precise target. With better maybe analytics, this gets to the measurement part of the pillars, right. So we can measure it much better, we can probably zero in on that ROI. Because if you’re using the search engine, then it’s back to the content, which centers around the message you want to send who you want to attract and hoping that once that search engine drives into your landing page, they’re going to take some sort of action, your call to action is going to be click that’s really how you’re going to zero in on whether or not you’ve got a person, you know, they’re gonna have to engage at that point, right?

AJ Wilcox 13:21
Yeah, totally. And what I love so much about this, like a social type of targeting, if I look at the data that comes from Google ads, the data I get is, here is the keyword I was going after. And here was the return or, or the stats based on. Yeah, but with LinkedIn, specifically, I can go and create one segment. This is just marketing directors, at tech companies, IT companies with 500 or more people in them, I can create exactly the same segment. But instead of directors we’re going to do VPS. And I’m going to show them exactly the same ad. Not only am I going to get those same statistics about like, how much did it cost every time someone clicked? How often are they clicking? Like how interesting was my offer to them. But I also get to find out the difference, like, between director and VP, or company size is 500 or 5000. I get to learn about my audience and it’s kind of like a silent focus group. They don’t know that they’re a part of I get to learn more about who my audience is. Wow. Yeah, that’s I love so much about social

Lex Patterson 14:28
that’s, that’s fascinating to me. So, because I was wondering after I after we talked the other day, you know, I was wondering why you had pick why you’d pick to go into such a micro niche, you know, like, Okay, you were saying I’m a one trick pony, and I was like, Okay, this guy’s he’s walked the journey, right? And and so it’s becoming clear to me why that is now. It’s because it’s of the targeting and you can get so much direct feedback, I guess. And you and you said yourself too, you know, you’re this guy. that really wants to dive in and know the nuts and bolts of it. Right. So I mean, do I have that? Right? Totally? Yeah,

AJ Wilcox 15:06
so interesting to me. Because when I approached the company, like thinking about you, I really want to start this, I had to ask, you know, LinkedIn ads, it’s such a narrow niche, hardly anyone’s using it. They don’t even know it exists. Is this even enough of a market to support my family? And thank goodness it was, and like, it just gotten more and more popular. But yeah, what we’ve seen from all the other, and this is why it was a risk, what we’ve seen from all the other channels like Google ads, Facebook ads, when they first launched, they set their prices insanely low. So anyone who tried it out was for sure gonna have success, they were going to tell their friends, and then they would start advertising. And you’d see this groundswell of competition, just naturally, everything’s gonna rise. But with LinkedIn, they didn’t follow that model, I wish they would have. They didn’t, they started out expensive to begin with. So I was, it seemed like at the time back in 2011, I was the only person who had success on LinkedIn ads. When I, anytime someone talked about it, they’d say, Oh, it’s too expensive, it doesn’t work. But now what we’re seeing is marketers are getting smarter, we have better data, we have better tracking all the way through the sales process through a CRM. And now we can justify paying eight to $12, a click on LinkedIn, when, because we know it’s high quality sales is going to close at a certain rate. Whereas five years ago, he would have said, eight to $12 a click, I’d rather just go and pay $1 A click on Facebook and get twice the number of leads. Yeah. So the markets maturing? And yeah, getting to where makes more so

Lex Patterson 16:42
so I guess this, I mean, because I’m listening to you, and I’m going, Okay, I’m business to business. I’m in a niche industry. So targeting becomes really super important to me when I do that, right. But I’m a small company. And a budget comes to mind, let’s let’s drill in on that for a minute, you know, the whole budget thing. So is there a minimum that I would have to do to dive into? Like, if I wanted to use your service? AJ, if I was, if I was doing this? What would you tell me? Well, I’ll tell

AJ Wilcox 17:11
you, anyone can go and start an account. And LinkedIn is minimum, they want you to spend at least $10 per day on ads. So you could theoretically spend very little, but what we found is, because the clicks cost so much, we need data, we need this preponderance of data to tell us whether or not something’s working. And so what we found is, you know, if you don’t have $5,000 a month to spend to get that data, at some point, you’re going to go, oh, I can’t make a decision, because I don’t have enough data. So much better if you start out with that, like five pay base, and work up.

Lex Patterson 17:49
So for for 5k. For how many months? I mean, how much what’s what’s your to grab the data? What’s what’s, what do you recommend? They’re

AJ Wilcox 17:57
really, really smart question, I’m glad you asked. We just need $5,000 worth of spend to know whether something’s working. And so if you don’t have that much budget, you can split that over two or three months. And it just means that you’ve got to tell like, your CEO, or the board or whoever, that, hey, we’re going to set this and we’re not going to touch it for two months, or three months, because we need the data. And okay, most people don’t have that level of patience, which is why I like to front loaded, right much during month one, but okay, so that if you need to,

Lex Patterson 18:28
right, okay, so the whole thing is the 5000 spend to get the aggregate of data so you can start making decisions. And then I guess what you’re going to do then is you’re going to come back and you’re going to say based on this and your target, we can deliver effectively to this many people your message, right? And then you can start to back into the ROI on this of, Okay, what’s your lifetime value on the customer that you hope to get right? And you can say, Okay, what’s that ratio that I want to spend to get this because right now, what most people are doing in our, in our industry is I think they’re going to a lot of trade shows, which, you know, lately they’ve been kind of zoom ish. And I don’t know that that’s a whole nother topic we could maybe dive into is how effective trade shows have become now that they’re, they’re virtual versus in person. I think we I know, I’ve been on the vendor side of that. I don’t know that theirs is really as good. You know, I think that’s why this is really important that we talk. But you know, even even if you’re going in person, you’re there’s a fair amount of spend with that, you know, you’re sending people out, you’re buying the booth, you’re doing your guts, travel, and the expenses and all this stuff. So, you know, even though 5000 Seems like a lot, it’s if you could if you can have patience, I guess is the whole key here. That’s what I’m hearing.

AJ Wilcox 19:42
Yeah. And what we tell people is LinkedIn ads are really only for you if you have a large life time value of a customer or a large deal size. So if you’re going to generate a relationship, you know, let’s say it’s a debt collection relationship with a finance department. If you’re gonna be with working together for years, and this is going to be worth 10s, or hundreds of 1000s of dollars to you in revenue. Absolutely. LinkedIn makes so much sense to do. But, of course, you know, the majority of our clients are going to spend between one to $4,000 in ad spend, in order to close a customer. So you can imagine, if you spend four grand to get a customer, and they’re worth 15k, to you, then the math starts to make sense. There’s plenty leftover for sales commissions and financing future ads. Yeah,

Lex Patterson 20:29
yeah, that’s really cool. Okay, so let’s talk about another thing, though, that we touched on the other day that I really thought was cool. So let’s say you don’t have you can’t, you don’t have the patience? Or, or maybe you just don’t have the span? Are there other ways that they could experiment with LinkedIn a little bit to kind of dip their toe in it? Let’s talk about that.

AJ Wilcox 20:50
Yes, so marketing as it is, it’s meant for scale, it’s this one to many kind of relationship, I’m going to do one activity, and it’s going to reach hundreds or 1000s of people. And you pay for that, it’s, it’s automation, where you don’t have to do very much, and you’re gonna reach a lot of people. It’s great for scale. But on the other hand, it costs money. And the inverse of that is, sales is very much a one to one activity, it’s, I’m going to spend my time it cost me next to nothing, I’m going to reach out to people and have conversations. So what we tell people who maybe you don’t have a marketing budget, or maybe you have to convince the CEO, that money spent on LinkedIn, or that network is a good place to find your customer, then what you can do is just do that one to one activity, use LinkedIn, just do searches for the people who fit your criteria, you know, the this job title in this industry in this region, or whatever. And as you’re having conversations, they’re going to ask certain questions, you’re going to see their feedback when you tell them about certain, you know, offers or promotions you’re running. And when you find out that this is working, you know, that cost next to nothing, but it took a lot of your time, it’s really easy to draw the analogy between, okay, here’s this audience who we know, they respond, let’s get there’s this little flame, let’s use ads to pour gas on that fire and make it bigger, let’s now automate that massive fire, what we were doing,

Lex Patterson 22:25
amplify it and and I think the thing to there that’s, that’s so important with this is, if you are transparent, and you don’t treat it, like you know, everybody out there is trying to automate this to the point of, you know, like, I don’t know how many requests, you get a J, probably a ton. But you know, and I’ve been doing this a little bit with my podcast, which is interesting. That’s where I’m drawing kind of the parallel to it is, you know, I’m reaching out to people that, you know, probably you’re getting all these requests and everything. And if I just automated that something out, or whatever my chances of getting through that are are nail but, but it goes back to the intention. And it’s like what you said, you know, when you really want to make a difference. And even if you had a piece of content that you could somehow say, Listen, I’ve got something I’d like to get in your hands that I think is really going to help you you know, and it’s this authentic, real connection, similar to what you would do at a trade show in a way, right, you’re meeting this person, you’re trying to engage with them, like you would if you met them face to face, but you’re using leaked it is that platform, you know, I think your results are gonna go up way. A lot higher there. And then like you say, you track that now you’ve got this micro audience. Now you want to build that tribe. Let’s see what we can do with with some ads, right?

AJ Wilcox 23:45
Oh, yeah. And serendipity is so big, like, at a tradeshow that’s why it’s so wonderful. And I think that’s why it might be less awesome over Zoom is you lose that serendipity of hey, I’m I was standing behind this person while we were waiting for lunch at a food truck. And we struck up a conversation and oh, they’re the the CFO of X company with ads, especially because when you start combining intent data you can get from other places, you can tell which companies are actually looking for a solution like yours. And so when you start showing ads to them, or if you know that your sales team is going to be reaching out to them, you can show ads to them preemptively. So by the time you make that connection, it’s a Oh, that’s so interesting. I’ve been thinking about this, or I’ve heard of you guys before. And you can engineer that serendipity with us as humans. We love

Lex Patterson 24:34
Yeah, yeah. I love that too. So I mean, have you ever used it in a way of like, you know, there’s that geo fencing you can do I think, with Facebook, and some of those things where, you know, people are going to be at a conference at this geolocation and you say deliver that. Have you done does LinkedIn have that capability?

AJ Wilcox 24:50
LinkedIn doesn’t I so wish. Yeah. But I mean, this is so cool. There are vendors out there who you can literally go on a map and draw Have a rectangle around the Event Center and say, on March 3. And fourth, we know that there was a whole convention going on about this topic. Take every phone who was in that area, every IP address, and let’s show them ads, because we know that they’re in the finance. Yeah, yeah,

Lex Patterson 25:19
it’s very effective. I mean, we’ve tried it before we tried it with a Facebook ad one time, and it was pretty successful. You know, you can, you can put, you can put that out there. So that’s pretty cool. Okay, so let’s talk about content. You know, we kind of been touching on that a little bit, you know, relevant content. So important authenticity, being real with that. But but you know, and I’m sitting here thinking about this, as we’re talking, and you’re, you’re telling us about this, and I’m going but this seems pretty intensive, right? Like, if I’m, to get there, if I’m doing the one to one approach, right? I’ve got to spend the time, I’ve really got to invest some things, I’ve got to get there. And I’ve got to get this right message in front of him, which is cool. I’m not saying it’s a bad thing, but it’s intensive. But if you really think about that, so is getting your message right, like on the content. And I know a lot of people push that content out, they outsource it. What are your thoughts on that, like tips and tricks, or just general maybe a general guide? Let’s put some guide rails out on that? What are your thoughts with that?

AJ Wilcox 26:18
I’m glad you asked. Because this is something that we face on a daily basis. When we talk to a client, we tell them, Hey, you don’t want to approach your audience and say on LinkedIn, and say, Hey, come and read this blog post, because you’re been paying eight to $12 per click, to get blog post readers, which is insane. The ROI might shake out, but it’s so untrackable, that it’s a high risk. But on the other hand, if we show ads that basically say, Here’s my service, click here to talk to our high pressure sales guy, no one’s gonna click that ad, and we just won’t spend anything. So what we need is something that actually has value in between. And we call it gated content, or lead magnets, like whatever you’re thinking of. So we go and tell clients, you’re going to need some kind of a great piece of content, that someone’s going to want to fill in their info into a form in order to get access to a report or a webinar or something that’s going to teach them. And we’ve had so many clients say, oh, yeah, we have a, we have a team in India, this is really easy, we’ll just have them build a piece of content for us. And then you read it. And it sounds like it was written by a copywriter, or it sounds like it was written by a marketer, and not by an expert in your field. So what we have found to be the most successful is if you have subject matter experts in your company, who really know a topic, have them write it, or better yet, because their time is expensive, have an intern or someone, interview them and write down their answers, and then use those answers to create reports to create white papers and ebooks and guides. Whatever you think your audience is just going to be salivating for. And the closer internally it is, and having real value, the much better that your conversation is going to be with that one.

Lex Patterson 28:06
Yeah, that makes your content that makes a lot of sense. Yeah. And I know, you know, from past experience is hard. Because you want you want offs, you want to offload that in a way. But you do have that I would call it you know, human capital for lack of a better word where, where you build an organization, you have certain people that are in that organization that have a lot of experience a lot of whiskers in particular subjects and trying to really zero into those, you know, the people that are right out there on the front line, talking with customers all the time interacting with the problems, they understand the business probably as good or better than the customer does, you know. And so those are those are really, really key points. I was gonna ask you to What about like, when we’re talking about other other ideas for dipping your toe? Google business? Have you played around with that? Yes. Okay. Yeah. So So tell us about some of that. What are your thoughts on that? Okay, so this is, so maybe maybe back up for just a minute to AJ and lay a little groundwork for somebody that doesn’t even know what we’re talking about what Google business is, yeah, maybe start there.

AJ Wilcox 29:14
So if you’re a local business, a brick and mortar, you know, someone who’s regional, one of the big opportunities that you can take is Google has, you’ve probably used Google Maps to search for companies and know who sells tacos in my area, or whatever that is. But I don’t know if you know this, but it’s free to put a listing on Google Maps. And you do this through a free listing process called Google My Business. And it’s a pretty straightforward process. They’ve got like, nine questions to ask you like, you know, your address and a description of what you do and your hours of operation. And what you end up doing is giving yourself a whole other opportunity for if someone is searching for a professional in their area that you could come up as that part especially, they go too far.

Lex Patterson 30:02
Okay, and so are there ways when you’re when you’re looking at that, because there’s two things that come to my mind one is reviews, right? Because now they can do reviews. So you’re gonna want to maybe manage that that’s, that’s a piece and for, for collection agencies, a lot of people will really get mean about reviews. And, and that can be okay. I think as long as you’re responding to it, like you have to manage it is the key. Right? And then the other thing I was curious about on that would be, you know, are there ways to get more traffic through that? I think we had talked a little bit Do you have any ideas about that is are ways that you can put posts or anything out there to help you with that drive traffic to your,

AJ Wilcox 30:44
I’m not certain about, like, posts that you could have from a business listing. But one thing you can do, if you’re looking to get more website traffic from it, you could put an offer in the text that like, Hey, first consultation is free, or, and in order to get that, go to our, our website here. And so you can start to pull pull traffic. Okay,

Lex Patterson 31:08
so you can use that. Yeah, for to drive some traffic. That’s pretty cool. Yeah. So anyway, I just wanted to mention that, you know, that piece of it. Okay, that’s pretty cool. Let’s, so let’s let’s jump here. Well, before we leave the whole LinkedIn thing, is there anything else that you think our listeners to know, so we kind of covered the spin, trying to get enough data to make some good decisions, that initial span, we’ve talked about a little bit how much cost for an ad, we’ve talked about content, what works, what doesn’t? Is there any other piece that we should get out there that that we’re missing, or we we pretty much nailed it.

AJ Wilcox 31:46
Just one word of warning, if you’re going to, if you’re going to try LinkedIn ads yourself, you’re not going to hire an agency like ours, be really, really aware that LinkedIn, it’s not a generous platform. And so if you’re just taking the default settings that they throw out there, chances are, you’re going to pay way too much. LinkedIn will just take as much out of your wallet as possible, and leave and bleed you dry. So do your research. If you’re not going to work with someone who already knows what they’re doing. Do your research and make sure you’re not gonna step in any of those potholes.

Lex Patterson 32:16
And we’ll drop some additional info into the show notes on this subject as well, if you want to check that out. Yeah, and I might just add, throw a little plug in here for you to AJ because your LinkedIn address your your LinkedIn page, I think you probably also have a website that’s very generous. I’m using LinkedIn isn’t generous, AJ is very generous. That’s how we got so much. You got so many videos out there that really educate on this very thing. I mean, minimums, like where to set your ad spend, when you start all those kinds of things I’ve been there, I’ve learned a lot from you. That’s one of the big reasons I reached out to you because you are so generous, and and kind with all this. And so yeah, and we can put that in the shownotes will include all that information for the for the listener in the show notes so they can go read some of this out for themselves. That’s really that’s really cool. Yeah. Okay, so let’s jump. Let’s jump here to Well, I guess one question, before we leave this was a niche business to business business, are there areas that I would be wasting my time and money if I was doing it right now that just pop off the top of your head?

AJ Wilcox 33:29
You know, it’s interesting, with all of the advertising that we’ve tried, we’ve tried all different industries and all different roles and all sorts of different securities, we haven’t found any one. Anything that wasn’t performance of, we find that if we’re targeting medical professionals, like doctors and dentists, we, we know they work in front of patients, they don’t work in front of a computer. So chances are, we’re not going to able to spend much money on that audience because there’s not a whole ton of them there. Whereas we know something like every sales professional in the world that lives on LinkedIn. Right? Every HR person in the world lives on LinkedIn. And so those are going to be audiences that we can push more volume that way we can get more of a response from them, spend more money on them. But I would say as long as you’re defining your audiences really narrowly, so you’re not like spilling over too much into other areas. You just can’t go wrong. It’s your it’s money that you’re spending to generate leads, but at the same time, you’re learning about who your audience is your dream, ideal customer, just by their stats, so yeah, pretty narrow.

Lex Patterson 34:39
That’s pretty cool. So one thing that popped into my head as you were talking, though, is so you know, a lot of collection agencies that we’re dealing with in this space, are medical. Okay, so they might be trying to get those doctors and dentists and hospitals and whatnot. Do you have any so you’re saying that niche might not be real well served at the edge you got any other ideas for them on anything.

AJ Wilcox 35:02
I think there is a platform called Doximity. Do x I am i t y. And if you are, if you’re a doctor, you know this platform because it’s the social media. It’s a social media platform that you’re only allowed on. If you are a doctor, like, you’re, I’m pretty sure physician’s assistants and nurses aren’t even allowed on there, you have to be the doctor. And so one thing that I’ve always thought would be interesting, I know they have a pretty significant amount of ad spend, just to qualify to be able to advertise. But I would love to try that out to see if we can get in front of doctors where they’re spending time when we get them to respond.

Lex Patterson 35:43
Right. That’d be up. Yeah. That’s interesting. Yeah.

AJ Wilcox 35:46
If anyone ever tries that out, please let me in. I will help manage your Doximity ads for free because I want to try the platform out.

Lex Patterson 35:53
Awesome. Yeah, that would be cool. All right. And I guess this is a question maybe that other people might be thinking about. But you know, it used to be there was this balance thing. And I’ve had people approach me just general marketing, advertising agencies, right? And say, Well, what we need to do is this balanced approach, and we want you to spend on email we want you to spend on SEO, we want you to spend on adspend. And your budgets going to be x, you know, which is usually pretty large. What do you say to that? I mean, do you have any thoughts on that?

AJ Wilcox 36:23
I’ve worked at companies where I’ve had to try to make that work. The problem with that is, as a marketer, you can only you only concentrate on so many channels. So if you’re trying to do everything, you’re probably going to do everything really mediocre Lee or even poorly, I would much rather say, Okay, I think LinkedIn and Facebook or LinkedIn and Google are the two that I can give my entire mindshare to, and I’m going to spend enough money or I’m going to dedicate enough time that I’ll be able to get enough data back while I’m able to pay attention to it while I’m expecting it, to know whether or not it’s working. And then when I find little pockets of success, I can keep rolling on them. And then go back to the new channels that I haven’t tried yet. So don’t overburden yourself, start out with your top one or two that you think have the most promise and only venture out as you find success.

Lex Patterson 37:17
Yeah, keep it simple. And also make sure that you can measure the results. Those are the really the key things you want to be on top of what what it is your intention is with your message and what audience you’re trying to reach. And then really zero into those metrics, right? Oh, yeah, yeah, totally. Yeah. Okay. All right. Well, let’s, let’s wrap up with one more. So Adam Grant has got that book out. I mentioned it to you before, think again. And I like to ask all my guests, is there something that you’ve been rethinking lately?

AJ Wilcox 37:49
I, you know, I’m constantly rethinking things in in digital marketing. I, you know, at one point, I said, Oh, YouTube ads. It’s, it’s a video that everyone tries to skip. And I just don’t see value there. And it’s, it’s all based around a keyword. And what if you don’t have a market, that’s big enough. But I’m starting to really understand the value of video. And it’s getting cheaper and cheaper to create. The thing that I’m playing with right now is using YouTube ads as retargeting. So someone came to your website, they’re showing some level of interest, then when they go to watch something on YouTube, your ads gonna remind them hey, by the way, did you know that you that we’ve got a special offer here? Or just keep yourself top of mind? No, I’m thinking a little bit more about incorporating other platforms and not just relying 100% on.

Lex Patterson 38:43
Right, right. That’s good. That’s great. That’s cool. Well, AJ, I, um, as I’ve said before, I’m really appreciative of you coming on you’re, you’re a guru in this space. And I’m so glad you accepted my connection request and, and that we’ve connected on LinkedIn. And I’m just really glad that you came on the show. I think there’s a lot of good information for the for the listener here. And also, we’ll include a bunch of stuff in the show notes I’ll get with you. Kind of will will scheming plot on that a little bit. And then one of these days, you’re not that far away. We gotta we got to connect. And maybe I can meet you. Cuz you’re done. Are you in Lehi? Are you?

AJ Wilcox 39:22
Yeah, I’m in Lehigh. And you’re in an office?

Lex Patterson 39:25
Yeah. So So after I so we could meet in the middle and connect and go have lunch or something and kick around some more of these ideas. So yes, let’s do the

AJ Wilcox 39:33
way have you told your listeners what your strategy is for reaching out to people because I thought it was brilliant. I don’t accept everyone’s connection requests. But the way that you reached out to me I was like, of course, I’m going to go on this podcast. Of course, I’d love to have a conversation with you. So

Lex Patterson 39:47
what I did what I try and do is I reach out, as I said very transparent with Well, here’s what I do. I just say look and and I had researched you I course before I ever did any of this, I was following you because I wanted to learn about LinkedIn marketing, and you were so generous, and you really popped to the surface. So you need to know, your marketing was really working because it attracted me. I mean, I was trying to find answers. And boy, you were right there. And your content was so great and so generous, you know, like, huge share. And even when we interacted, I’ll get into that in a minute. But I mean, so what I do on all my stuff is I research this out. And I think, man, that would be an interesting guest to have on the podcast, right? So then I reach out. And LinkedIn tries to sort of block you and say, Do you really no, this person, you know, and so I’m going well, no, but I’m going to include a personalized note. And I’m it’s not automated, I handwrite it and I say, AJ, I’ve followed your stuff, I really admire your work, I really would love to have you on my podcast. And actually, I’m starting a podcast, maybe you could even give me some ideas on, on, you know, launching the business and really getting the word out there. And that’s how it started. And then how was what was your feeling when you got that?

AJ Wilcox 41:03
Well, I love when someone wants to connect with me. Not a Number, like, AJ is just one in 15 invites I’m sending out today, I have a see. I mean, literally 900 invites just sitting in my account, that all say the same thing. Either. It’s, I want to add you to my network, which basically says, I want to sell to you. Right, right.

Lex Patterson 41:26
I’m not gonna tell you, but I’m gonna try to sell you something. Yeah, exactly.

AJ Wilcox 41:31
And some will say, hey, we share mutual connections, or we’re in the same city. And I’m just like, I know, you copied and pasted this and sent this out to 1000 people. But when someone says my name, and they say something like, Hey, I heard you on this podcast, or I read your article about this. I know that’s not automated, they want to actually connect to me because I provided value to them. That’s exactly the kind of person I want to be connected to.

Lex Patterson 41:57
Yeah. Which is, which was so cool. So then we connect. And then what I loved just a second piece to say about this is on the second piece that I asked you, which was help with the podcast, you came right back and he said, Look, I want to be really transparent with you on this. This is what the span is going to be. By the way, podcasts are a little bit hard to get to that ROA ROI, you know, number because, you know, you’re just starting, you’re growing your audience, you’re doing all this stuff. So, you know, maybe not right now maybe in the future, you know, you were just really transparent with with what that could be, which I really appreciate. I mean, it wasn’t any, you know, I just knew I just know you, you’d be a great guest. And you’re a great guy. So I you know, thank you for for coming on the show.

AJ Wilcox 42:42
Oh, you’re welcome. I can’t help but be wholly transparent. Because I the thing that is like worst of my nightmares would be having to have a conversation with someone two or three months down the road where they said, I took your advice and it cost me a lot of money. I don’t think I could sleep at night so boy, I’d rather tell people like what I actually

Lex Patterson 43:01
Ya nothing worse and that says a lot about your brand and your brand message and you live and walk it too So congratulations on that, and more success to you my man.

AJ Wilcox 43:14
I’ll take you up on that he

Lex Patterson 43:15
goes about keep growing. Okay. All right.

Thanks for listening, everybody. For links and resources related to everything discussed today. Visit the show notes on the episode page at Kindred force com. If you’d like to support the podcast, the easiest and most impactful thing you can do is to subscribe to the show on Apple podcasts on Spotify, on Amazon music, or on Google podcast. Sharing the show, or your favorite episode with friends or on social media is of course always appreciated. And finally, for podcast updates and the inside scoop, subscribe to our newsletter, which you can find on any page of our website at Kindred force calm. I appreciate the love and support. I don’t take your attention for granted. Thank you again for listening. See you next time.

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